March 4, 2014
With the win tonight, Michigan clinched the outright Big Ten championship for the eighth time in school history and the since the 1985-86 season. The Wolverines clinched a share of their 14th overall Big Ten Title with the win over Minnesota on March 1.
The Maize and Blue clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament and will play the 8/9 winner at noon on Friday, March 14, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
Despite tonight's victory, the Wolverines trail the all-time series with the Illini, 77-85, including a 26-55 mark in Champaign. However, U-M has won the last six meetings between the two schools and each of the last three matchups on the Illini's home floor.
U-M improves to 22-7 overall this season and 14-3 in conference play. Michigan has 14 conference wins and seven conference road wins in a season for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
It is just the fourth time in program history that U-M has won seven or more road games in conference play. The school record is eight, obtained in the 1984-85 season.
This year's conference championship is the fourth, and third outright, in John Beilein's coaching career. Beilein had previously won the 1994 MAAC title at Canisius, the 2001 CAA title at Richmond and the 2012 Big Ten title with the Wolverines.
Shooting 56.9 percent (29-for-51) from the field and 69.6 percent (16-for-23) from three, Michigan easily surpassed its Big Ten-leading field goal percentage (47.7%) and three-point percentage (38.9%).
Tonight marked the 15th time this season the Wolverines have shot 50 percent from the field or better.
Michigan tied a school record with 16 three-point field goal makes.
The 69.6-percent shooting from three-point range is the highest of the season for the Wolverines.
The 84 points scored and 31-point margin of victory are the highest obtained by the Maize and Blue in a Big Ten Conference game this season.
U-M improved to 28-0 under Beilein when scoring 80-plus points.
Michigan scored 52 points in the first half. Illinois had held its opponents to fewer than 50 points in its last four games.
The 52 points scored in the opening half are the most by Michigan in a half in Big Ten Conference play this season. The previous high was 50, obtained in the second half at Michigan State on Jan. 25.
With 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting, Nik Stauskas has tallied 20 or more points in 12 games this season. He has scored in double digits in eight consecutive games and on 24 occasions during the campaign.
Nik Stauskas hit a career-high seven three-pointers (7-for-9).
Glenn Robinson III notched 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting, his 20th double-figure scoring game this season.
Caris LeVert tallied 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting and notched four rebounds. He has reached double-digit scoring in 10 of the last 11 games.
Jon Horford grabbed 10 rebounds tonight, his first double-figure rebound game since Nov. 12 vs. South Carolina State.
Derrick Walton Jr. scored nine points, grabbed seven rebounds and had a game-high five assists (Illinois had seven assists as a team).
Zak Irvin scored nine points on 3-for-5 shooting from three-point range off the bench. Tonight marked the eighth game Irvin has connected on three or more three-point baskets.
Twelve Wolverines saw action in the win over Illinois. Sean Lonergan made his first field goal in Big Ten Conference play, with 20 seconds remaining.
After a Derrick Walton Jr. three-point field goal with 18:03 left in the first half put U-M up, 5-2, the Wolverines held the lead for the remainder of the game.